C47Houston FlixReview: “The Ferry”
a Short film by Director Javier Torres
A gambler loses a bet and a ruthless bookie kills his wife and kidnaps his baby son as payment in-full. Determined, the father vows to find his son and will travel across the galaxy in search of him in this science fiction thriller by Director Javier Torres called “The Ferry”.
Written by Javier Torres “The Ferry” follows a gambler, near the end of the 22nd Century, by the name of Elias Koteas (played by Jeremiah Kliesing). When Elias tampers with a kick-boxing match and ultimately loses a gambling bet and still owes on old bets, the bookie, Cesar, (played by Ruben Flores) is not pleased and demands payment immediately. When payment is not made, Cesar kills Elias’ wife and kidnaps his son Oliver Koteas (played by Hollis Torres). Acquiring two tickets on The Ferry”, Cesar takes an opportunity of a life-time and leaves Earth and travels to the planet Salus, a world owned by the Ziga-Gen Corporation and the only known refuge for Humanity. The only way to travel is to be suspended in a cryo-chamber for the duration of the trip. In search of his son and two months later, Elias bribes a staff worker at the Ziga-Gen Corporation to gain entrance onto The Ferry as a stowaway and is given an access code to a single cryo-chamber for the trip to Salus. When the ship leaves earth, Elias enters the access code to his chamber but is denied access. The trip to Salus is a 10-year journey. With no water, food, companionship and a long journey, Elias resorts to surviving the best way he can and to survive on The Ferry so that he can find his son, Oliver. What happens on his journey is filled with ventures no man ought to endure.
Our take on the story:
Written by Mr. Torres the story was easy to follow. I did have a problem with what was happening about half-way through the movie and had to watch the movie a couple of more times to figure it out, (typical of sci-fi stories) Saying that, we think the story flowed nicely from beginning, the middle and to the end. It was a psychological story that had you thinking about what one would do in the same predicament. And, there was a twist that was nicely done. We did think that the story could have ended a little sooner than it did, but we are not the director and the creative options are many. Mr. Torres did a fine job in developing the character, Elias and the tribulations this one man would go through on his journey to the planet Salus. “The Ferry” was a good story.
The Technical side:
We initially viewed this movie without the sound. Again this is the best way to evaluate the technical side of any movie without the distractions associated with sound. The opening scene to “The Ferry” was interesting. It started with a kick-boxing match, a fight.
The choreography was nicely done, as we would expect from this particular Director. The camera work was pretty good. What I didn’t really like is that the fight scene was shot in the daytime as opposed to being in an arena setting with some “mood” lighting. But, okay, this was done fast and for a film race. In its entirety, there were some amazing shots coming from the cinematographer, Mr. Torres. Shot were NOT static and moved quite nicely to give the viewer a POV. There was one particular shot that was a little awkward. This is where Elias approaches one of the fighters with a gun to the back of his head. The whole scene was done in profile. It was a strange way to shoot a scene. The special effects to this futuristic space movie were outstanding. This was a good job for 3D animator Jonathan Riechel and special effects/Editor Javier Torres. We definitely enjoyed what they did with this particular vision of the future. Scenes were composed. Blocking could have used a little more creative. Mr. Torres’ use of the camera was decent. WE saw a lot of creative shots, angles, movement and more importantly an attention to detail, nothing worse than a static camera. Set design was a bit raw at times, but again this was done for a film race and with a limited amount of time. Lighting was a bit flat in some of the scenes, in our opinion, but overall most of the movie was visually appealing. We can’t put our finger on what could have been better, but maybe there was too much bright lighting and not enough “mood” lighting, after all this was a “dark” and psychological science fiction movie. Scene transitions were unremarkable as it should be, seamless. With sound, it was consistent with tone and volume. Casting was hardly an ensemble and performances were strained and not natural. Did it work? Of course it did. It gave the movie a realistic, documentary feel.
Our Assessment of the movie, the Production value:
This science fiction movie was made for the short film competition called The Zone. The team only had 7 days to make this short. “The Ferry” was a good story and the production team did a good job in making this movie. Hindsight is 20/20 and the movie could have been a little tighter. The director did a great job in assembling a cast, moving the performances and moving the story. The Director was able to get some emotion from the key character that has to adapt to his surroundings and dealing with his dimensioning mental state as he travels for years in isolation. As well, Director Javier Torres put together a good movie with a good story. But, determine its value for yourself. Watch the movie.
C47Houston reviewed this movie using our TSIRS rating system. We rated this short movie a 4.3 out of 5 stars.
Title: The Ferry
Team: Plutonium Pictures
Genre: Science Fiction
Running time: 10-minutes
Premiere screening: Tuesday, April 28th at the Alamo Drafthouse-Vintage Park
Written by Javier X. Torres
Directed by: Javier X. Torres
Producers: Javier X. Torres, Brittany Torres, Matt Weaver and Jennifer Kliesign
3D Animator: Jonathan B. Riechel
Special FX and Editing: Javier X. Torres
Sound Editor: Matt Weaver
Original Score by: Tellus Records
MUA: Jennifer Kliesing
The Wig: Brittany Torres
Cinematographer: Javier X. Torres
Camera B: Matt Weaver
Set & Props: Jennifer Kliesing and Micah Hunter
Production Mechanic: Matt Weaver
Mr. Larimore’s Wrangler: John Davis
Cast: Jeremiah Kliesing, Ruben Flores, John Larimore, Hollis Z. Torres, Brittany Torres, Jennifer Kliesing, Jonathan Richie, Tina Ghaiassi, Einrique Abulume, Chris Gaus and Aubrey Tres Page III.
This short movie was made for The Zone Film Race 2015. This review did not seek to see or review its qualifications for a win.
Review by H.Luna, C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine / C47Houston WEEKLY / C47Houston WEEKLY Quick News / HLMedia Production. All Rights Reserved